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Motherhood, According to Stock Photos

Almost every parenting article is accompanied by a stock photo, and with good reason. After all, they're well-lit, beautifully composed and capture moments that (presumably) perfectly illustrate the concepts presented in the article.

I assume we're meant to relate to the moms/models in the photos on some level, but how often do those pictures accurately represent your experiences as a mother? I see them so often online that I barely even notice them anymore, and I bet you don't either, so I decided to bring the Internet's supporting photos to the forefront for a minute. Here's the story of a typical mom's day, as told by stock photography. How well does it resemble your real life?

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1. Start by getting dressed for your day.

You're already decked out in a fashionable linen dress you ironed last night—since you definitely didn't stay up late eating loose chocolate chips by the handful and binge-watching "Scandal" on Netflix—so it's time to turn your attention to your little one. Naturally you know exactly where both of his shoes are, and he isn't crying at all because everyone knows how much toddlers love wearing button-down collared shirts and golf caps.

2. Spend some quality time together.

Find an open field. Frolic in it, preferably in front of a ray of dazzling sunshine. Regard your child lovingly while she laughs in the effortless way all children do, so that from a distance it appears as though you're sharing a Meaningful Bonding Moment even though in reality she probably just told you a lengthy series of knock-knock jokes about farts.

3. Enjoy a wholesome enrichment activity.

Assemble some choking hazard-sized beads, all the glitter you can find and maybe a store-bought craft kit full of foam shapes. Whip up something you saw on Pinterest. Encourage your children to be creative, especially when "creativity" involves writing on their faces with non-washable marker. Revel in the fact that your older child isn't throwing some kind of fit over the fact that the baby is using all the Popsicle sticks.

4. Keep in touch with your friends.

Because that definitely happens. Chat uninterrupted on the phone while your baby rides quietly on your hip. Pace languidly around your spotless chef's kitchen in your crisp white pants, which don't have any traces of pureed carrots on them whatsoever. Laugh with your head thrown back as you discuss something pleasant, something that certainly isn't the news that your third-grader just threw up at school or some other motherhood-related nonsense.

5. Get lots of work done.

Children are nothing if not accommodating to your needs, so you should be able to easily run errands, check email and make a few important business calls with your kids around . In fact, as long as you have a colorful play mat on the floor, your baby can entertain himself for hours without any supervision at all. Make sure to leave the patio door open while you check Facebook in case he needs to crawl outside for some fresh air!

6. Help with homework.

Few things bring a mother and child closer together than endless spelling drills and reiterating the difference between adjectives and adverbs for the 498th time. It's not at all frustrating! Your child will jump at the chance to listen to you eloquently explain the Magna Carta and will be impressed by your ability to effortlessly divide fractions, even though you haven't tried doing it for the last 20 years.

7. Let them help with dinner.

Teach them valuable life skills involving rolling pins. Compliment them on the healthy food choices they're sure to make, like licking uncooked egg off their fingers. Above all, remember that messes are hilarious. Besides, nothing is more rewarding than taking an extra 45 minutes to prepare a meal you didn't want to make in the first place, and then spending a half hour cleaning it off the kitchen counter. And floor. And walls.

8. Cherish every moment.

Pause daily to gaze at your child for several minutes. Alternately, hold your giggling baby straight over your head, where she definitely won't spit up in your face. Thank strangers at the grocery store for the frequent reminders that "it all goes by so fast," which is especially easy to appreciate when your toddler has been screaming for seven straight minutes about your refusal to buy him a cigarette lighter in the checkout line.

9. Ahh, the joy of bedtime.

Undoubtedly your child won't question why it's still light out as you put them to bed at 7:15 p.m. for no particular reason. With your gorgeous hair still perfectly coiffed, lace nightie (Yoga pants? What are those?) and full makeup on, tuck your child in. Smile each time your child interrupts you just as you were about to finally finish a page in this book, which you don't find mind-numbingly boring even though you've read it twice every night for the last eight months.

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Kiss your child lovingly on the forehead. Say your goodnights, I love yous and don't-let-the-bedbugs-bites.

Get called back for another kiss. And a drink of water. And a hug.

Repeat until morning, somehow finding time in the middle of the night to iron tomorrow's fashionable linen dress.

Images via Getty Images

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